Dr. Eric Yang serves the roles of the Vice President for Academic Affairs for Wenzhou-Kean University. He is a professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology. Dr. Yang received his medical degree from Dalian Medical University, and had his residency in the Department of General Surgery of the 2nd Affiliated Hospital of Dalian Medical University. Dr. Yang received a Ph.D. in Microbiology, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale (SIUC) in 2003. He also received a M.S. in Computer Science from SIUC in 2005. Before joining Kean, Dr. Yang had been teaching and doing research as an assistant, associate and full Professor, and took academic administrative posts including Graduate Program Coordinator, Program Assessment Coordinator and Department Chair. Dr. Yang’s dedication to teaching excellence and student-engaging research was well recognized by prestigious university awards including President’s Award for Research and Creativity, Outstanding Graduate Mentor Award and Excellent Academic Advisor Award. His research team won 21 research presentation awards at regional and national conferences. Dr. Yang was nominated to the Academic Advising Award of National Academic Advising Association (NACADA). He was also nominated as the sole candidate to the Vice President of Kansas Academy of Science. Starting from 2017, Dr. Yang served the students and the faculty of Kean as Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs, Acting Dean of Nathan Weiss Graduate College, Associate Provost for Academic Affairs and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.

Dr. Yang has been conducting active research of a broad scope including roles of microRNAs in human malignant melanoma and microRNA-based therapeutics against melanoma; cocktail therapy combining heat shock protein inhibitors and autophagy inhibitors against melanoma; roles of antioxidants in melanoma growth and invasiveness and in drug resistance to chemotherapy; the mutagenesis induced by alkylating agents and the anti-mutagenic effect of phytochemicals; the interplay between the mismatch repair genes and dam; the pharmacological effects of phytochemicals on human malignant melanoma; immunotherapy using conjugation of α-fetal protein and heat shock proteins to enhance the immunogenicity; the differential response of P53 network at different oncogenic mutation context; genetic responses of bacteria to heavy metals and DNA-damaging agents; utilization of CRISPR-dCas9 system to regulate miRNA expressions; Synthetic biology-topological sorting algorithm. Dr. Yang’s research on the dual effects of vitamin C and other antioxidants on the development of malignant melanoma have recently drawn considerable attention. Dr. Yang’s research was supported by subawards of National Institute of Health of the United States and the International Collaboration Grant of Natural Science Foundation of China. His research has been published in highly impacted journals including Molecular Carcinogenesis, Cancer Letters, Mutation Research. He has been invited to give research talks at many international conferences and universities. He has been conferred Guest Professor or Honor Professor title by several Chinese universities.

As the Chief Academic Officer of Wenzhou-Kean University,Dr. Yang oversees the overall operations of academic affairs including teaching, research, faculty hiring and evaluation. In addition to the four academic colleges, Dr. Yang’s direct reports include Office of Academic Affairs, Office of Research and Sponsored Program, the Office of the Registrar, Library, Office of Assessment and Accreditation, and English Language Center. Dr. Yang has engaged in improving the teaching capacity and quality of WKU faculty by implementing vigorous teaching assessment and providing faculty opportunities of keeping abreast of modern teaching pedagogy and technology. Dr. Yang works with the leadership team on increasing university research capability and productivity by providing faculty research support, recruiting high-profile research faculty in various disciplines, building research infrastructure, and supporting faculty-student collaborative research. Dr. Yang has been dedicated to developing students’ transferable skills including critical thinking, analytical, mathematical, resilience, leadership, teamwork, written and oral communication skills by engaging students in high impact learning experience including research, internship and study-abroad. Dr. Yang works with the faculty to transform WKUers to be responsible future leaders with strong critical thinking skills, independence, characteristic personalities, spirit of innovation and exploration, life-long learning ability and global vision by liberal art education and practical skill acquisition imparted through Kean’s vigorous curriculum.